Last Spring I became a bit restless. I had just released If I Could Tell You How It Feels in January and was marketing that new book as well as my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph.
I noticed that I began to feel a bit dragged down by the intensity of having written two books within two years of one another. That’s a lot of writing, editing, feedback, more editing, and then all the other minutiae that goes into getting a book published. After publishing, comes the marketing. Which by the way, I absolutely love doing! But last April or May, I found I was beginning to ask myself, “what’s next?”
I knew deep down inside that I was looking for something else to fill my cup. I have done a lot of presenting on living with PTSD, many interviews on the same topic, writing articles for the Huff Post and The Mighty, and promoting my books. I have loved all of that, but wondered, if there was a way I could move in a direction that would enable me to have more face-to-face time with survivors of trauma in a peer-supported way? Or if perhaps there is something altogether different waiting just around the corner that hasn’t come into focus yet.
I had decided that it was time to author a new life adventure.
I knew that I wanted to continue to market my books, but I also knew that I had to leave myself open to any experiences, people, and opportunities that may come my way. I had one person approach me about going into business with them renting niche office space. I thought about it for a while, then decided that wasn’t a good fit for me.
I continued going to my monthly women’s writing group but knew that the time spent there was winding down. I had been attending for over two years, and I found the group dynamic was not a good fit for me.
I would sit down and become so overwhelmed by the noise and the intensity of the group that I would have to take 1/2 an Ativan to stay for the whole meeting. A friend who went with me one month, helped me discern that having to take a pill to calm me down so I can function for a couple of hours, was probably not a healthy choice at this time in my life. That has everything to do with my PTSD symptoms and the size of the group and has nothing to do with them personally. They are all very lovely people. I just get too overwhelmed in large group settings.
At one of the meetings I attended, I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful author, presenter Alexis Acker-Halbur who wrote the book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness. We exchanged books, met for coffee, and a new and wonderful opportunity presented itself in the form of a new program Alex has created called T.R.U.T.H. ( The Road To Unresolved Trauma Healing). The program is 8-weeks long and is designed to help survivors of trauma enhance their abilities to recover their health through mind, body, and spirit wellness activities.
After meetings a few more times, Alex asked me to co-facilitate a pilot program that began last night. It was a wonderful, and humbling experience. Trauma survivors have a place in my heart, because of their innate resilience, and the fact that they have survived in spite of what happened to them. Meeting for eight weeks with a group of survivors that have committed to their healing in such a profound way was extremely humbling. I have an enormous respect for the people who joined this program.
I try to fully participate and I’m open to new adventures that come my way. It’s just the way I’m wired. But I also know that I have the opportunity to help author my own life adventures and have done so many times in the past. It’s always a bit scary to prance around in the unknown but well worth the risks.
Sometimes the climb to the top of the mountain is rigorous and uneven. But, with a wink, a smile, and uneasy confidence I’m ready to walk across the bridge between what is known and the unknown!
image source: marc-antoine-depelteau-unsplash
Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph